Washington Post Editorial and commercial workers held a noontime rally yesterday in front of the newspaper's building to mark "two full years" since the last contract expired between their union and The Washington Post Co.
Members of the union involved, The Newpaper Guild, have continued to work throughout the two years, and more than 50 bargaining sessions have been held in an attempt to reach agreement on a new contract.
Most of the sessions have concerned noneconomic sections of a proposed contract, and the first complete company offer - including general pay increases and other benefits - was presented to union negotiator eight days ago.
Eugene Meyer, a Post reporter and head of the Washington/Baltimore Newpaper Guild's Post unit, described the company proposal as "nearly complete" in a brief talk to about 150 person at yesterday's rally.
He said The Post Company's proposed three-year contract "calls for wage increases, which for most employes, would at best keep them even with inflation and, in many instances, see them failing further and further behind."
Meyer said in a subsequent interview that he is "cautiously optimistic" that an agreement would be reached between the newpaper and the union.
Post General Manager Donald E. Graham also said, in an interview, that he is "sure" an agreement would be reached. The company proposal would provide a minimum salary of $503 a week for senior reporters, compared to $475 today.